I know… this is hardly the start of the year, is it? I have an excuse though. Since New Year’s Day I have been suffering with a vile cough and cold, which seems to me to be really unfair. OK, if I was still in the U.K. in the depths of winter… but here? In the heat and the sunshine? I have spent the last two weeks, moaning and coughing but I am finally feeling slightly more clear headed and sounding less like a chesty old pit pony.
Time to start again.
When I look back on 2011, from where I am now… well, it seems unbelievable. At the start of that year we had no idea that we would be moving anywhere, never mind half way round the world. I suppose if I had thought of moving it would have been to a house, instead of our apartment, because I had been longing for an outside oven. I would have thought I’d have carried on cooking things like Beef and Ale Casserole with dumplings. or maybe the glorious Black Pudding and Haggis on Apple Mash (after all, it will soon be Burns’ Night again) or, or of our favourites, Bacon and Apple Risotto with Black Pudding. Everything rich and delicious and sustaining to get us through the cold and the snow.
I’d have been glad of the cold as we tucked into Jansson’s Temptation, my favourite potato dish ever. Maybe I’d have been making slimming soups, like Skinny Tomato Soup , in an attempt to lose weight after eating all of that lovely hearty food…
I would wake up and look out of our windows, in our apartment, down onto the frosty city below
And yet here we are, a year later, living just off the Equator, steaming gently in the Tropical heat. Now I wake up to dawn, over a vibrant city, with the Petronas Towers appearing through the mist.
Some things are the same, though. I look ahead to the rest of the year, knowing that THIS will be the year that I get thin and fit….I’ve had that as a resolution for years. And I haven’t done it.
Maybe I will this time. After all, we are living in a place where I can swim each day (and that means, of course, putting on a swimming costume. Not a good look at the moment, I admit)
The fruit and vegetables here in Malaysia are incredible….. there’s an abundance of fish and seafood. All of which are fresh and tasty. All of which are just waiting for me to try.
And we have a wonderful new space, with a lovely, large dining table so we can invite our friends round….
We can sit ten round there (OK, ten at a push. Comfortably, we can seat eight) and I have two large kitchens to work in. My old friends back home can come out to visit and my new friends here can come round to eat.
It’s all such a change from Nottingham!
If we can go through so much change in one short year, I wonder what can happen in the coming year?
What WILL happen is that I am going to cook more and write more. There are so many delicious things to experiment with here, so many wonderfully tasty recipes to tell you about and, I have to say, so many things I cooked last year and didn’t have time to tell you about.
This year there’ll be a mix of Southeast Asian and British dishes as I look back at what I’ve done and look ahead to new experiences.
My resolutions, therefore, are to explore, remember, taste, experiment, enjoy and, most of all, to tell you all about everything!
Happy Belated New Year!